Karahayıt (KAH-rah-hah-yuht), the village north of Pamukkale (map), was once known for its rust-red hot mineral waters, filled with iron and calcium.
In the 1990s, when the motels atop the Pamukkale plateau were razed, Karahayıtbecame the place selected for development of large luxury spa hotels like the Richmond and Colossae. More…
The triumphal entry gate on the wide access road to Karahayıt is a monument to the hope that Turkish and foreign visitors in search of health and happiness would come to Karahayıt and stay at the luxury spa hotels for a week or two, taking the “cure.”
Too many hotels were built, too few spa visitors arrived, and now Karahayıt’s 5-star hotels host mostly bus tour groups for one-night stays.
In any case, if you’re looking for a 5-star hotelclose to Pamukkale, Karahayıt is where you’ll find it.
Minibuses run every 15 to 20 minutes all day between the Denizli Otogar, Pamukkale and Karahayıt, so transport is easy.
Besides the Karahayıt hotels, there’s little to see or do in Karahayıt…unless you want to watch the rust-red calcium fountain gobble the mosque.
—by Tom Brosnahan